Troy Baker, Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School, today reads from the Gospel of Luke (14: 1, 7-11) in which Jesus tells a parable about a wedding feast and the importance of humility saying, ‘For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’ Troy says this Gospel can be a bit tricky because we can fall into a trap, which Jesus warns us about, of worrying about things related to our human condition whereas Jesus is talking about things of the Kingdom. Troy picks up on Jesus’s reaction “when he noticed how they chose the best seats” and notes, the best seats are those nearest the host. It is so even today. The boss sits at the head of the table, flanked by those second in charge. Key staff members sit at the table, and others sit at the back of the room. A savvy person who walks into that room can easily determine the rank of the person simply by observing where they sit. We see the same phenomenon at sporting events where the best seats are closest to the action—or, better yet, in comfortable boxes with food and beverage, elevated above and separated from the crowd. A person with the right connections can always get a good ticket. A person without connections might not be able to purchase a ticket at any price. We like the best seats. The view is better, of course, but the appeal goes beyond the view. Sitting in the best seats makes us feel superior, and our fine seats trumpet our superior status to ordinary folk. The other phrase Troy draws to our attention is “He spoke a parable”. What Luke is doing here, Troy says, is giving us some hints that Jesus is speaking about kingdom issues rather than offering advice about self-promotion. This is important because the Gospel passage culminates in the statement, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. This is the rule for life in the kingdom of God—a polar reversal that turns our familiar world upside down to reveal a world with very different rules. By alerting us to this, Jesus is helping us to prepare for life in God’s kingdom, a place that often seems strange and wonderful and, in some ways, threatens what we understand around our earthly existence. Just as we would prepare for life in a foreign land by learning the language and customs, so too, we need to prepare for the kingdom of God by learning and following the rules. Indeed, the kingdom of God becomes a present reality and is not just a future hope when we acknowledge God as king and live by the kingdom rules. Christians are living with one foot in the world of the kingdom and the other in this current world. The danger is that we might misinterpret Jesus’ words as a backdoor strategy for self-promotion instead of a call to humble service. Troy closes saying, Jesus is really calling us to have humility in service, that we might hear him calling us to humble ourselves as the pathway to the kingdom.